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Is The SEC Finished With NPAs And DPAs?

Women Thinking

In early 2010, the SEC (see here) announced a series of measures “to further strengthen its enforcement program by encouraging greater cooperation from individuals and companies in the agency’s investigations and enforcement actions.”

The SEC’s then Director of Enforcement called the measures “a potential game-changer for the Division of Enforcement.”

Among the measures the SEC adopted was use of deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements – resolution vehicles the SEC described as “tools [that] have been regularly and successfully used by the Justice Department in its criminal investigations and prosecutions” (which of course was and still remains a debatable point).

However, since this “game-changing” moment at the SEC over a decade ago, the agency has only used a DPA twice to resolve an issuer FCPA enforcement action and an NPA three times. Moreover, the SEC’s last use of an NPA or DPA to resolve an issuer FCPA enforcement was in mid-2016. All of which begs the question: is the SEC finished using NPAs and DPAs to resolve issuer FCPA enforcement actions?

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Observations From The OECD’s Phase 4 U.S. Review Report

oecd

Recently, the OECD released its Phase 4 review of the United State’s implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention … in effect a review of the FCPA, its enforcement, and related issues.

The first question one needs to ask themselves is whether they care what “experts from Argentina and the United Kingdom” (as stated by the OECD “the report and its recommendations reflect the findings of experts from Argentina and the United Kingdom”) think about the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.S. law enforcement (DOJ and SEC) policies and practices, and U.S. jurisprudence.

In any event, the Phase 4 Report “explores issues such as detection, enforcement, corporate liability, and international cooperation, as well as covering unresolved issues from prior reports.” (See here for a 2010 post summarizing the OECD’s Phase 3 review).

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OECD Report On Non-Trial Resolutions Contains Mounds Of Data, But Punts On The Pressing Questions

oecd

Recently, the OECD released this report titled “Resolving Foreign Bribery Cases with Non-Trial Resolutions.” As stated in the report “non-trial resolutions refer to a wide range of mechanisms used to resolve criminal matters without a full court proceeding, based on an agreement between an individual or a company and a prosecuting or another authority.” This term is obviously broad and covers a range of alternatives and there is little in common with a plea agreement compared to a non-prosecution agreement.

The 200+ page report and its six chapters contain mounds of comparative information and data that will likely be of interest to anyone interested in how foreign bribery enforcement actions are resolved.

Yet despite this data dump, the report punts on several pressing questions associated with alternative resolution vehicles. This is hardly surprising given that “the country mentors who provided guidance and contributed to the drafting” of the report were largely government officials including DOJ, SEC and U.K. SFO personnel.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Interesting, from the DOJ’s perspective, pay them more, sanctioned, scrutiny update, exit, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Interesting

As highlighted here, in December 2016 Odebrecht S.A. (a Brazilian holding company) and Braskem S.A. (a Brazil-based petrochemical company in which Odebrecht owns a majority of voting shares) resolved a large FCPA and related enforcement action largely concerning conduct in Brazil including the companies relationships with Petrobras as well as allegations of improper payments in Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Scrutiny alerts and updates, quotable, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Scrutiny Alerts and Updates

As highlighted in this recent post, Glencore plc, an Anglo–Swiss mining company with headquarters in Switzerland and ADRs traded on a U.S. exchange recently announced that it received a subpoena from the DOJ “to produce documents and other records with respect to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and United States money laundering statutes.  The requested documents relate to the Glencore Group’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to present.”

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